There is a spiritual battle raging in the world every minute, every hour, every day. As humans, we only see and understand glimpses of it with our physical eyes and finite minds, but there is evidence all around us. Today, let’s consider how this battle plays out in our thought patterns, especially in regard to fear (a common theme with COVID-19 lurking around lately). I’d like to share a few keys that I try to put into practice regularly and hopefully, they will arm you for the mental battlefield as well!
Key #1 - Be Aware of the Source
Fear often starts with a thought and it stems from either:
TRUTH (God = King = Loving Father = Lion of Judah),
or LIES (Satan = devil = father of lies = prowling lion).
When thoughts enter your mind, be alert and consider which type of father, and lion, they are coming from.
Fear of God the King, our Loving Father, is most healthy because it offers respect and honor. (Fear of certain dangers can be healthy too, if used as a protective shield, i.e. avoiding a suspicious animal, but not if it allows constant undue stress).
Fear of Satan is unhealthy because it will disrespect you to the core of your being. It will rob you of joy and sometimes, steal your ability to function without stress.
Pay attention and determine which source is speaking.
Key #2 - Capture Each One
Once you’ve defined the source of your thoughts, stop. Take each one captive.
Think about what they are causing, not only in your mind, but in your actions.
Place your thoughts into a containment unit and work through a cross-examination with them. They need an interrogation! How are my thoughts making me feel? What are they telling me to do? Are they causing an unhealthy fear which brings complete unrest, or a healthy fear which brings relief?
If your thoughts evoke shame or hate or panic or control, they are clearly from ‘your enemy the devil, who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:8 In John 8:44, it says this about the devil, ‘…there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.’ This implies the intent to harm.
If your thoughts evoke honor or love or peace or trust, they are clearly from God, who does not lie. Titus 1:2 In fact, Jesus (one with God), is Truth Himself! John 14:6 He is the Lion who has triumphed over death. Rev 5:5 This implies the intent to help.
Sometimes thoughts run wild, and they are quick to shift and change, so once you know where they are coming from and you’ve captured them, now what?
Key #3 - Release and Replace
You have a huge part to play in transforming your thoughts from a wild, messy attack to a tame, orderly state of sanity.
Release the lies. All of the irrational thoughts that are not worth keeping, let them go. Not casually, but in a ‘go to hell’ type of way, because that’s where the father of lies dwells and sent them from to begin with. Seriously! Speak up and tell certain thoughts where to go straight back to!
Replace them with Truth. This involves some work, and prayer (to get started, click here --> I’m Freaking Out). The Bible is God’s love letter to us so it’s a good place to find truth. Write encouraging verses on index cards and hang them up in strategic places at home, work or in the car. Read them out loud if needed! Asking someone whom you trust for positive input is advisable too.
Taking thoughts captive (2 Cor 10:5) is a process. I still struggle at times, but I’ve learned that it is possible, and I’m more empowered each time I put these keys into practice. When my thoughts are taken captive, I’m less inclined to push that red panic button on the key fob of my mind!
Lastly, ALLOW YOURSELF TO RECEIVE GRACE. Fear is real. So is God. Yes, He wants us to respect Him because He is so powerful, but He is also gentle and full of grace, absolute truth, and pure love. Each day you experience the mental battlefield, arm yourself with the 3 keys from this post, and remind yourself of the message that stopped a friend and I in our tracks while out walking recently. It's a rock-solid piece of battle-tested evidence … love wins!